Egypt’s leather tanning chamber said in a press release on Sunday that old Egypt tanneries are not procrastinating to move to Robeeky industrial zone, as 80% of these tanneries are still awaiting allocation decisions to move.
This comes as Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil accused these tanneries of procrastination to move to the designated industrial zone, according to media reports.
Located near the Nile River corniche, behind the Magra al-Oyoun Wall, and dating dating back to the 1500s, Cairo’s tanneries, giant or tiny, have been operating for decades, and the government has been considering relocating them and using the area for touristic purposes since 1995.
Earlier last September, Kabil announced that the government started removing some of the tanneries in Old Cairo to move the leather tanning industry to Robeeky industrial district as per a cabinet approval issued in 2014.
As for Robbeky, the government established an ideal modern tannery to be a standard for those who would move theirs to the new district and it will provide over 1,000 apartments near Robeeky to make it easy for future workers in the new industrial area.
While the move is expected to make a leap in modernization of leather manufacturing process and increase Egyptian leather exports, which is currently about USD 200 million per year, thousands of workers, whose skills would be automated, complain of their anticipated unemployment.
The leather tanning neighborhood in Old Cairo includes 1,066 tanneries, 205 stores and 1,450 apartments, according to the official survey.
Meanwhile, the chamber said in its statements that most information Kabil based his statements on it are misleading and “not accurate”.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade was not available for immediate comment.